Sunday 12 March 2023

Sunday 12th March

The Firecrest remained in Dead Dolphin Wood, with three Goldcrest, three first winter Song Thrush and a Redwing also likely migrants. Offshore 12 Red-breasted Merganser and eight Red-throated Diver with counts from the estuary including 625 Dunlin, 415 Oystercatcher, 296 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 70 Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Curlew, 53 Grey and two Ringed Plover, 10 Knot, seven Wigeon, three Greenshank and a Mediterranean Gull.

Wildlife News: A dog Fox by the Tractor Compound was the first sighting of the year. Elsewhere a dung beetle Aphodious prodromus was on the dune ridge and despite the worsening weather a few flies were around the Alexanders, with Humming Syrphus S. ribesii, Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus and a Suillia variegata. Another hoverfly and a muscid fly fell victim to the predatory Yellow Dung Fly Scathophaga stercoraria.

Aphodious prodromus - Alan Keatley

Humming Syrphus - Alan Keatley

Yellow Dung Fly - Alan Keatley

As well as the wildlife a radiosonde (usually attached to the end of weather balloons to make measurements of temperature, humidity, and wind) was found washed up on the tideline. Investigations revealed that it had originally been launched from Camborne at approximately 23:30 on 7 March, before dropping into the sea around Sidmouth just under two hours later, at about 01:20 on 8 March.

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